BRAIN HEALTH | 4.30.2018 | BY JACKIE FARRELL, MS, OTR/L, RYT-200
The experience of a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) often comes with a sense of loss. This might be a loss of confidence, a loss of independence, a loss of activities you are able to participate in - all potentially leading to a loss of identity. After a TBI, it may be more difficult to participate in the activities you enjoyed prior to your injury as a result of physical, cognitive or emotional changes.
As an occupational therapist, a big part of my job is working with individuals to help them identify and participate in meaningful activities on a regular basis. If you are struggling with a sense of loss after TBI, here are some guiding questions that may help you to find meaningful activities to add into your life.
What were the activities you enjoyed prior to your injury? Why did you enjoy them? Social connections? Physical activity? Giving back? Make a list as a starting point.
Can you return to the activities you used to participate in? Are there safety risks to returning to any activities? If yes, are there ways to engage in those activities in a different way? Working with an occupational therapist may help you to determine this.
What types of activities currently interest you? Make a list of these as well.
Here are some ways to incorporate meaningful activities back into your life:
- Do the same activity in a different way (adaptive sports)
- Try a new activity (alone or with a friend/family member)
- Participate in groups designed for the TBI community
- Find a greater purpose - volunteer for a cause, share your story
State level Brain Injury organizations
Support groups run through major hospitals in your area
Activity groups (art therapy, adaptive sports, meet ups)
Jackie is an Occupational Therapist (OT) and a LoveYourBrain Yoga Teacher. She loves to incorporate mindfulness practices into her treatment sessions, and is generously sharing this tip in honor of Occupational Awareness Month.